Tier 2 Test Fuel Impact to Tier 3 Aftertreatment Systems and Calibration Countermeasures
During the course of emissions and fuel economy (FE) testing, vehicles that are calibrated to meet Tier 3 emissions requirements currently must demonstrate compliance on Tier 3 E10 fuel while maintaining emissions capability with Tier 2 E0 fuel used for FE label determination. Tier 3 emissions regulations prescribe lower sulfur E10 gasoline blends for the U.S. market. Tier 3 emissions test fuels specified by EPA are required to contain 9.54 volume % ethanol and 8-11 ppm sulfur content. EPA Tier 2 E0 test fuel has no ethanol and has nominal 30 ppm sulfur content. Under Tier 3 rules, Tier 2 E0 test fuel is still used to determine FE. Tier 3 calibrations can have difficulty meeting low Tier 3 emissions targets while testing with Tier 2 E0 fuel. Research has revealed that the primary cause of the high emissions is deactivation of the aftertreatment system due to sulfur accumulation on the catalysts.